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7 Ways To Turn Your Thoughts Into Reality

7 Ways To Turn Your Thoughts Into Reality
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Your mind is where your reality begins. Most of us don’t know how to think productively however – how to turn our thoughts and dreams into something concrete.The obstacles are many – procrastination, lack of motivation, fear of failure. It’s important to not forget, however, that our thoughts ultimately blueprint our destinies. I’ll take a look at complementing a thought with tricks to make your thoughts turn into a reality. So without further ado…

1. Connect it with the bigger picture

If anything sounds like it’s not worth it, remember this: someone will read your eulogy one day. Let’s suppose they held the entire list of all your thoughts. The thoughts that produced great change. The thoughts that snowballed from little habits into bigger effects. Even the thoughts that didn’t account to much. Will they be able to tell the underlying patterns? What causes will prove that your life was dedicated to something bigger than yourself? All of your thoughts are categorized in one mysteriously interconnected network, so let loose and don’t be afraid to associate a thought with your own grand visions for the future, the world, life, and even the universe itself. This will cement a more imaginative plan into something more concrete. You may also feel more motivated to start doing, knowing that your thinking isn’t isolated and random, but a good representation of everything you want to be!

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2. Practice productive procrastination

Side projects are important. They’re the stuff you throw yourself in when no one is watching, and the pastime you would rather dabble in than do work. Despite this, procrastination is still the epitome of lacking productivity, right? Enter a more refined type of procrastination: productive procrastination. Find a few little projects you’re ready to get started in. Work on the one which feels more appealing, then bump to another when you’re sick of that one, and then jump back to the other one in a virtuous cycle. Productive procrastination can drastically increase your productivity, and you’ll feel like you’re actually accomplishing more.

3. Find the right group of people first

When surrounded with the right group of people, we’re much more likely to give reality to our thoughts. The right group of people are those who support your thoughts, challenge your assumptions, help you out when you’re stuck, and obviously steal your own ideas. Now it’s easier than ever to find them. The internet is packed with countless communities dedicated to countless interests, and that’s just one part. Meet-ups and clubs situated in a hands-on environment are available where you live, and if you can’t find one you’re interested in, why not start one? Upon surrounding yourself with positive influences, your thoughts will come alive and grow stronger than in isolation.

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4. Categorize thoughts based on their value

There’s an unbelievable amount of stimuli rotating in your brain. That stimuli branches into the unconscious, and you’re supposedly left with little conscious ability to direct its power or flow. It’s obvious that we’re caught in ingrained patterns and impulses, and lost in the grind of unconscious thinking. After all, our brains often run on autopilot; we’re not hyper-aware of everything, nor will we ever be. Bring these scattered thoughts into the light with a spreadsheet and one week. Track a thought and a SMART goal to achieve it. You’ll soon notice an inquisitive pattern – and find out which thoughts to implement and the ones to throw out.

5. Use the SMART goal system

Good goal-making is a mark of the good life. Those who plan well live well. So why do people build their thoughts on less than adequate goals every day? Maybe it’s because not enough of them try the SMART goal system. This method incorporates specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-worthy steps into doing just about anything. You might want to lose weight. The typical response is to write it down and get excited about it. But how much weight needs to be lost before you can accomplish it? What can you use to track it? Is it attainable in circumstances like health and money? What date must be set to justify accomplishing it, and is it even realistic in that time-frame? Now you got a workout more intense than a marathon!

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6. Remix productivity techniques

Hacking life is a modern technique. With so many productivity techniques to choose from in the 21st century, who wouldn’t feel overwhelmed? The first step is to learn more about productivity in general. Devour anything you can find – books, articles, blogs, clippings of magazines. Take a course and attempt a technique. Then try another. One of my favorite examples is to start a 25-minute timer in a Pomodoro fashion while working on productive procrastination. The possibilities are nearly limitless learning.

7. Track your life

Let’s finish with a habit-tracking app. Habit tracking apps are exactly what they sound like – they track your progress of keeping up with a habit over time. Choose a tiny habit that is very easy to change, and you’re much more likely to continue with it. Watch it expand over time. Observe the data. Then gradually increase it until you’re doing something you’ve always wanted to do every day. Don’t be afraid to experiment; you can also track elements like your mood, nutrition, sleep, exercise, goals, and to-do lists.

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How do you turn your thoughts into reality?

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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